North Carolina Department of Justice

North Carolina Department of Justice

North Carolina Department of Justice
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Don’t bite on fraudulent emails

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Reports of data breaches involving fraudulent emails, commonly called phishing, are spiking. A total of 30 phishing breaches have been reported to the Attorney General’s Office by businesses and other organizations so far this year. Twenty of those reports have come within the past two weeks. That’s compared to eight phishing breaches reported in all of 2015.

Scammers can use technology to pretend to be anyone in an email, and phishing emails can lead directly to data breaches. Emails used to steal company data often look like legitimate messages from someone within the business or organization but are really sent by criminals and scammers. Some of the fraudulent emails reported to the Attorney General’s Office in recent days appeared to come from the company’s president or CEO.

While the increase in phishing attacks is currently targeting businesses, individuals are also at risk because phishing season never ends. But no matter how real an email looks, or how legitimate the request appears, never provide personal information or money without verifying the message first. That extra step, a simple phone call, can save you a lot of money, time, and aggravation.

If you spot a scam, report it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint online at